Tag Archives: immune system

Immune System May Help Fight Mesothelioma

Proteins and toxins produced by the body’s own immune system could prove to be powerful weapons in the fight against malignant mesothelioma. Manipulating the immune system to fight cancer is known as immunotherapy. One type of immunotherapy is utilizing natural immunotoxins, or cell killers, produced by the white blood cells to attack tumors. Preliminary data shows that a protein produced by these cells called interleukin-4 or IL-4, may have potent cancer-fighting properties. Researchers with the Pacific Heart Lung & Blood Institute in California are planning studies to test the toxin’s value as a way to combat mesothelioma. Their first challenge will be to produce enough IL-4 to conduct tests. When enough of the immunotoxin can be synthesized according to FDA … Continue reading Immune System May Help Fight Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Researched by UK Team

A team of Welsh researchers has begun studying a promising new immunotherapy treatment for mesothelioma. The researchers at Cardiff University and the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff have partnered with Oxford, England-based Oxford BioMedica to study the company’s immunotherapy cancer vaccine called TroVax. Like other immunotherapy treatments, TroVax works by harnessing the power of the patient’s own immune system. The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Zsuzsanna Tabi of Cardiff University, recently discovered that mesothelioma tumor cells, like many other cancer cells, express a protein called 5T4. TroVax works by stimulating a patient’s body to produce an anti-5T4 immune response which would theoretically then target any tumor cells carrying the 5T4 protein. Although TroVax has been shown to produce an immune response … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Researched by UK Team »

Mesothelioma Therapies Benefit from Immune Approaches

Vaccines work by teaching the body’s immune system to recognize and destroy the germs that cause disease. That same principle is now being applied to vaccines against mesothelioma and other cancers. Vaccines and other immune-based therapies (immunotherapies) could be one of the new strategies to treat mesothelioma. This therapeutic approach may enhance the effectiveness of current treatments (including chemotherapy and radiation) while reducing side effects, according to a report published in the February/March issue of Cell Adhesion & Migration. Doctors have long realized that the immune system plays an important role in fighting cancer. Tumor associated proteins called tumor antigens are expressed on the surface of cancer cells. These are signals that could trigger the immune system to launch a … Continue reading Mesothelioma Therapies Benefit from Immune Approaches »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Delivers Cautious Optimism

woman mesothelioma doctor holds syringe

Mesothelioma patients and their families are cautiously optimistic about a new vaccine that may help fight the illness by harnessing the power of the patients’ own immune system. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos – a type of mineral fiber. These fibers can cause cellular changes that eventually turn cells cancerous. The new vaccine, which was tested in Holland and described in a recent issue of The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, is a form of immunotherapy, a new approach to combating cancer. In essence, researchers claim to have found a way to ‘teach’ certain immune system cells, known as dendritic cells, to recognize malignant mesothelioma cells as ‘enemies’ and launch an attack. In the study, … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Delivers Cautious Optimism »

Future Mesothelioma Treatment

A combination of immunotherapy and traditional  may be more effective than either treatment alone against mesothelioma, according to a recent analysis published in the journal, Tissue Antigens. Mesothelioma is one of the most difficult cancers to treat, and the prognosis is often poor. Surgery and chemotherapy are the standard mesothelioma treatments, but even with these therapies many patients do not live more than a year after their diagnosis. A newer treatment option is immunotherapy, which enhances the immune system response to help the body attack cancer cells. Because mesothelioma engages the immune system, immunotherapy would appear to be a promising treatment strategy for this cancer. However, studies conducted so far on immunotherapy for mesothelioma have yielded disappointing results. Combining immunotherapy … Continue reading Future Mesothelioma Treatment »

Mesothelioma and the Immune System

The presence of an immune cell is associated with better prognosis for patients undergoing extrapleural pneumonectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma is the conclusion of a recent article published in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery.1 Canadian researchers tested mesothelioma samples removed from 32 patients (28 men and 4 women). The patients ranged in age from 21 to 74 (median age was 59). The researchers were looking for the numbers of specific types of immune cells. They then compared this data to the survival of the patients to see if these cell counts had any relationship with survival. They found that one specific type of immune cell called CD8+ was associated with better prognosis. The study found that higher levels of … Continue reading Mesothelioma and the Immune System »